Solar panels installed to boost production at fruit processing factory

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The management of HPW Fresh and Dry Limited, a fruit processing company in Adeiso in the Eastern region, has installed solar panels to generate 360 kilowatts power to help the company reduce its electricity dependency on the national grid.

The power generated by the solar panels would cover about 25 percent of the electricity demand of the company.

The company is into the production of dried mango, pineapple, coconut and snack products.

Speaking at the commissioning, Mr. Maik Blaser, the Director of HPW Fresh and Dry Limited, said his outfit has also invested in biomass which produces all the heat required by the company.

”We are investing in a biogas generator that will cover another 25 percent of the electricity requirement of the company so that we will be 100 percent on renewable heat and 50 percent on renewable electric power” he said.

He said as the facility continues to grow, their demand for electricity increases, but often power is not available for production and sometimes the company had to depend on a generator which tends to affect the machines when the company is working on full-scale.

Mr. Blaser said when the company ran on the generator, in a week, they use 5,000 to 15,000 litres of diesel to power the generator depending on the kind of production they were undertaking.

He said the installation of the solar would cut the diesel consumption and the constant maintenance of the breakdown of the generator sets.

James Owuraku Obeng, the Plant Manager for HPW Fresh and Dry Limited, said the company has 750 employees, however, during the peak season, the number increases to over 1100.

He said last year, the company produced 1,600 tonnes of dried fruits and 85 tonnes of fresh fruits daily.

Mr. Obeng said the objective of the company is to ensure that there is always abundant of fruits available every time for people to eat.

Dr. Michael Ball, the Founder and Managing Director for Beba Africa, the solar panel manufacturing company, said his outfit is in Ghana to promote solar power as a means to reduce electricity cost for commercial and industrial customers.

He said among African nations, Ghana is one of the countries with the highest electricity cost on average and said solar energy is readily available to help companies to reduce their electricity bills.

He said his company also helps companies is overcome the financial challenges in the acquisition of solar technology.

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